Creating Hope

When things around you seem hopeless, focus on where you are now and where you would like to be.

Hope starts with goals. Hope starts from within.

Hope, hopelessness, or hopefulness have been recurring themes lately (thanks in part to 2020).

In positive psychology, the state of hope has been observed and studied. ‘Hope Theory’ was eventually developed based on the idea that hopeful individuals: 1) have established goals, 2) develop ‘pathways thinking’ which is about planning routes on how to obtain those goals and 3) believe in their personal agency. The studies also found that hopeful individuals are generally more happy, optimistic, and have better mental health outcomes.

At its best, personal agency is believing that YOU are the one responsible for your thoughts, feelings and actions –no matter the circumstances that surround you.

For individuals in survival mode or in crisis, it can be difficult to feel hopeful or even think about goals. Even then, simple goals can be set (ex. staying safe, asking for help, determine immediate needs).

The bottom line is that constantly looking outside of yourself for hope can actually make you feel more hopeless!

Hope starts within. Hope is intentional and is something we can all enhance. No matter what occurs around you, an important question is ‘how do I move forward?’. Determining a goal,  having options to obtain your goal and having the belief in your capacity to achieve that goal plants a seed of hope. Over time, our goals help us become hopeful towards our future.

What goal, no matter how big or small, do you look forward to?

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